Sarah Everard: Police Officer Charged with Murder Appears in Court | New women

Wayne Couzens, 48, is accused of kidnapping and killing the 33-year-old woman who went missing in south London on March 3.

A police officer charged with the murder of a young woman in London has made his first court appearance amid a wave of grief from the British public.

Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning after his arrest on Tuesday.

Couzens is accused of kidnapping and killing Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who disappeared as she walked home from a friend’s house in the south London district of Clapham on March 3.

His body, which was found in a builder’s bag in a wooded area in Ashford Kent on Wednesday, has been identified through the use of dental records, the court said.

Everard’s death shocked the UK, sparking a debate over women’s safety, with many women and girls sharing their stories of male violence on social media.

There was also political fallout, with MP Jess Phillips this week reading the names of 118 women murdered last year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by this affair.

A police van carrying British police officer Wayne Couzens, accused of the kidnapping and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, UK on March 13, 2021. [Hannah McKay/Reuters]

In court, Couzens spoke only to confirm his name and personal information, sitting between two plainclothes officers on the quay. Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring has remanded Couzens to appear in Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police expressed their anger and shock that one of their own had been arrested for the crime. The force said Couzens joined its ranks in 2018 and recently served in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, an armed unit tasked with guarding London’s embassies and Parliament.

Canceled event

Organizers canceled a march in honor of Everard scheduled for Saturday after police banned it due to coronavirus restrictions.

“Given the lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police, we don’t believe we can in good faith allow tonight’s event to unfold,” organizers of Reclaim These Streets said on Twitter.

Instead, the movement hopes to raise 320,000 pounds ($ 445,000) for women’s causes, which equates to the 10,000 pound fines that organizers have each been threatened with, times the number of venues where events were to be held. take place.

A High Court judge on Friday refused to intervene on behalf of the group in a legal challenge to the right to assemble for a protest during coronavirus restrictions.

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